The Grand Street Campus senior returned to the dugout for the top of the seventh inning, told his teammates this was his game and to get him just one run to unlock the tie with a Tottenville team he didn’t get to face in last year’s postseason.
It took three more outs and an extra inning, but the Wolves delivered when Santo Duran plated Ernesto Lopez with a single up the middle in the top of the eighth.
“We knew how special he was throughout the whole game,” Duran said of Gonzalez. “I think that was the only way we could repay him."
Grand Street's Gerry Gonzalez tossed a one-hitter against Tottenville Thursday.
Photos: Grand Street-Tottenville
Gonzalez retired the Pirates in order to complete a masterful performance and give his team an emotional, 2-1 win in the semifinals of the Monroe Tournament on Thursday. He allowed just one hit, struck out nine, walked just two and retired the last 14 batters he faced from a team that knocked Grand Street out in last year’s PSAL ‘A’ semifinal series as Gonzalez watched playing first. He did so throwing an economical 99 pitches.
“When they beat us last year it hurt,” Gonzalez said. “We had a magical run. I knew from the beginning this is what we wanted. This is who we wanted to play and I wanted the ball.”
Gonzalez, who missed last year’s semis after throwing 120 pitches against Telecommunications in the quarterfinals, led the Wolves to their second straight extra-inning win in the tournament. They scored nine runs in the ninth Wednesday to beat Monroe. Grand Street believes it shows just how hungry they are. Against Tottenville, two runs would do, as Gonzalez located his fastball and curve well.
“Their kid on the mound was the difference,” Tottenville coach Tom Tierney Jr. said.
Grand Street got on the board in the fourth when Duran doubled down the third-base line off starter Michael Sullivan. Tierney pulled him, saying he was out of gas, after shortstop Steve Notaro made a diving grab and throw to first for the second out. Reliever Joseph DiBenedetto gave up an RBI triple to Basael (Ralphy) McDonald to make it 1-0 Grand Street. Tottenville tied it at 1 on a double by John Giakas in the bottom of the inning.
“I think throwing the breaking ball over for a strike really let him dominate,” Grand Street coach Melvin Martinez said of Gonzalez.
The coach has been pleased with his pitching so far, starting with Gonzalez and Willy Santana, who failed off and didn’t play against Tottenville last year. Sophomore stud Alex Cuas will start against defending CHSAA intersectional champion Xaverian in the final 1 p.m. Friday back at Monroe. The Brooklyn schools know each other well. The Clippers have won three of the four meetings, already including one earlier in the tournament.
“I have faith in my team,” Duran said. “I believe we are going to take it.”
Gerry Gonzalez, Tottenville, Grand Street, Santo Duran, Gonzalez, Grand Street Campus senior, the Wolves, 1-0 Grand Street. Tottenville